Tesla has officially kicked off deliveries in the US of its latest electric car, the Model Y crossover, releasing a new video of the Model Y assembly lines to mark the occasion.
The market release of the Model Y, which has occurred just one year since its unveiling to the world in March 2019, comes as a new survey on buying intentions indicates strong demand for the electric car in leading European EV markets.
The Tesla video is, predictably, a stirring effort designed to evoke the sense of freedom and agility promised by Model Y ownership, from its roomy interior to its single glass roof.
— Tesla (@Tesla) March 16, 2020
Although we learned this week that the Model Y is not rated for towing, the video gives one interesting clue about a new “off-road” feature of the Model Y, which gives better control when driving off-road by balancing torque and improving traction on a variety of surfaces.
As described in the Model Y manual by Tesla:
Off-Road Assist is designed to provide overall improvements when driving offroad. In addition to allowing the wheels to spin, Off-Road Assist balances the torque between the front and rear motors to optimize traction.
Off-Road Assist improves traction on rough and soft surfaces where one side of the vehicle may lose traction while the other side still has traction.
When Off-Road Assist is on, the accelerator pedal provides more gradual torque, which is useful for crawling at low speeds (for example, over rocky surfaces). When enabled, OFFROAD displays on the touchscreen above the driving speed.
While it’s a shame the Model Y is not rated for towing, the ability to take it off-road takes it a cut above the Model 3 (albeit still limited by a low wheelbase).
Labelled “perfect” by one Tesla Motor Club who shared this extensive gallery of the Model Y on Friday, it has now also been revealed that the latest electric car from Tesla will, according to this Cleantechnica survey, be the next preferred electric car buy in leading EV markets such as Norway and the Netherlands.
According to the Cleantechnica article, more than half of all survey respondents in Norway and nearly 40% of those in Netherlands said they would buy a Model Y next.
In Germany and France, it is the next most preferred electric car after the Model 3 and across all four markets it is the most preferred vehicle even when PHEV models are included (Cleantechnica notes the survey was undertaken before the unveil of the Tesla Cybertruck).
Since deliveries have started, more details have been revealed by Model Y customers adding to what we learned about the Model Y
Tesla Motor Club member “SilverSmith” was one of the first to take delivery of a Model Y, also last Friday, and after a day of ownership shared the following, and some photos, about their midnight silver Performance Model Y – including the notable observation that there is in fact a spot where a hitch could be added later.
- There is no HomeLink (our M3 AWD has this included). I think you have to order it for $300 and have it physically installed.
- There is no hatchback shelf, nor a place that you could add one later.
- The wheels are different sizes on the front/back (wide ones, so this explains why the upgraded wheels take so much of our range, they aren’t only 21″, but also taller and wider).
- The seats are 3.5″ taller than the M3 (drivers seat).
- There is no hidden receiver hitch included, but a spot we will be able to add one later.
- There is wireless charging for two phones. Not as nice as the after market one I have on my M3, but nice to not have to pay for it as an addon.
- There is a single USB C port under the charging pad that supplies the power. As well as a standard USB for a USB flash stick for Sentry/Dashcam.
- The rear seat has 6 levels of recline, they are small increments and give you a decent amount.
- Reat seats are fully powered for releasing, and has two buttons in the trunk to do it remotely. And even the ones on top of the seats are powered.
- Middle seat can separate from the drive with a latch behind the middle seat. A post sticks out, which is interesting.
- Power lift gate is fairly basic, opens from the outside like the M3 does. Closes with a button on the lift gate.
- Trunk is huge, with two under bins. One is very shallow though, but still useful.
- Compartments on the sides of the trunk are deep and nice for keeping things from rolling around.
- Second row seat is the same width as the M3 (51 1/4″).
- There is a significant blue tint to the paint (compared to our M3 of the same color).
- Panel gaps seem really good, better than our M3.
- It seems quieter, but then it is a brand new vehicle (compared to our M3).
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.